State Govt unhappy with thin attendance at SoO camps

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IMPHAL, August 26: The Manipur government has expressed reservations on the absence of satisfactory number of cadres in the designated camps of SoO groups specially the Kuki groups and of violations of ground rules.

It may be recalled here that the government had extended the Suspension of Operations with several Kuki militant groups for three months recently.

It may be mentioned that the Suspension of Operations between the Army and the several Kuki militants coming under United People’s Front and the Kuki National Organization had been in force since August 1, while the formalization of the Suspension of Operations between the Centre, state and the Kuki militants to cease hostilities was from August 22, 2008.

The SoO has been extended on a regular basis since then with a tripartite talk held at the national capital on August 16, 2011 agreeing to sign the fourth extension for another period.

It is also learnt that the state government had invited comments from various agencies and the MHA.

Sources informed that the Ministry of Home Affairs had expressed that due to rampant SoO violations, the centre agrees for further extension of the SoO for a three month under the condition of 100 percent attendance at the designated camps.

It is also learnt that the state police had also expressed that the number of violations of ground rules of the Suspension of Operation has been affecting the credibility of the SoO arrangement and may affect the maintenance of law and order.

The state police had also put forth the need of fresh strategies for bringing the process to a logical end and for the JMG to deal more seriously with the groups in terms of SoO violations.

CRPF had recommended the extension of the SoO citing that the extension has reduced cases of killing, abduction/kidnappings in Kuki dominated areas and that the public is already feeling the relief, while the Assam Rifles had also recommended its extension while mentioning that in the last one year, there has been significant reduction in the number of violent cases in the state.

The AR had also commented that the Kuki groups are adhering to SoO ground rules to a large extent.

The AR however added an addendum, that there should be a mechanism in the agreement which imposes suitable penalty in case of violation of ground rules.

Sources also informed that the Army had recommended a fresh look at the existing arrangement and necessity for the future considering the SoO violations, poor presence of cadres in designated camps, misuse of weapons meant for camp protection among others, while the BSF had expressed that the SoO has contributed positively towards the society and recommended extension of the SoO for a year.

Following the several comments, the state government had deduced that the presence of cadres during the monthly joint inspections is not satisfactory except for a few and that there are reports on violations of the ground rules by the groups.

The extension of the SoO was agreed upon after due consideration of the several comments, the source added.

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